Red light on security camera indicate that a recording is taking place. That light will always be on for cameras that are always on. Some security camera red lights can turn off even when recording.

Each camera has unique features, one of the primary ways to differentiate them. However, all cameras share one feature, a little red light above the camera lens.

For a long time, Security Cameras have come with a little Indicator LED (usually in the top corner). They are so you can inspect a camera at a glance. 

Long before remote viewing and the ability to check and diagnose cameras using a Smartphone App, these small lights allowed someone like a Security Guard to stroll about their facility and ensure that all cameras were operational and recorded.

The CCTV camera red light could be a status LED light or the red light of infrared illuminators in cameras with night vision functionality. 

It could also indicate that the camera is recording or that the motion detection function is turned on, or it could simply be a phoney red light to deter crime.

Do All Security Cameras Have Red Lights?

As time passed and security cameras got more sophisticated, the requirement for an indicator light persisted.

Even cameras sold in stores today feature an indicator light indicating their recording. 

Not all cameras have lights as well. They should be included for aesthetic or budgetary reasons. 

Even if you have the light on your camera and don’t like it (maybe you want your camera to be stealthy and not shine a bright light in the dark, alerting people that it’s filming them).

With systems like Blink and other modern Security Cameras, you can choose whether or not you want the light to glow while recording. 

Reasons To Not Turn Off The Red Light On A Security Camera

1. Visibility Deters Burglars

They aren’t dubbed “scare lights” for nothing! Red lights draw attention to a camera, operate as a psychological barrier to burglars, and can assist in preventing some burglaries.

A study conducted in the United Kingdom reveals how efficient this tactic is at deterring burglars compared to other techniques. 

According to the findings, every 1% increase in the use of red lights among the sample size stopped around 0.5% more burglaries per month.

This may appear little, but it is crucial to highlight that it can be used broadly and with little expenditure if other tactics fail or are not feasible.

2. It Could Be An IR Nightvision Light

It’s most likely a power-on light if it’s merely a red always-on light, but if it’s a thin light near the camera, it could be a night vision light (usually an 850nm wavelength IR light). 

A cellphone camera may be used to tell the difference easily. It is light to help with night vision if it lights up, like the image below. 

IR night vision lights are a device that uses infrared light to assist the user in seeing in low-light circumstances. They emit light through one or more infrared LEDs while emitting very little visible light. 

Infrared, red, and green night vision lights are the most prevalent. Infrared lights use invisible infrared wavelengths to illuminate objects in the dark while using little energy. 

Red light is also invisible but emits a low-energy wavelength that is not harmful to humans or animals.

How Do You Hide Red Lights On A Security Camera?

You can conceal it on your property by covering it with infrared-blocking filters. A mask can be readily made by cutting a piece of filter larger than the panel and taping it down.

This can assist in obscure IR lights to some extent. A little black construction paper can also be placed on the panel. 

It can help conceal any red light residue from the previous procedure.

Should I Turn Off The LED On My Security Camera?

The light-emitting diode (LED) is a type of semiconductor diode. It is a device that emits light when activated by an electric current; it is not harmful, and having it on poses no risk.

When you sleep, the LED may give uninterrupted night vision for your security camera

However, if the LED is near you while you sleep, it may disrupt your sleep cycle; this is why some individuals prefer the LED to be turned off.

Do All Night Vision Cameras Have Red Lights?

Sometimes. Most security camera red lights (around the lens) help them see their surroundings in low-light situations. 

Night vision cameras may also use monochromatic filters to produce black-and-white images in the dark and colored images during the day.

During the night, modern camera systems provide colored images using IR emitters. The more emitters a camera has, the better the photos it will create.

Is It Safe To Disable The Camera’s Red Lights?

Turn off the red lights on your camera if you like the camera to be in a covert position. But you’d also have to consider the time of day.

Check to see if your camera has different modes of night vision. If it operates in low-light conditions using infrared emitters, there may be better options than stealth. From a distance, it would glow in the dark.

On the other hand, if you want to deter potential threats with a camera’s light, the red light is sufficient for them to depart your property without causing any damage.

It can also show that the home may have more stringent security inside. If someone monitors the camera’s feed actively, the red light could be your best friend.


So, the next time you’re out for an evening walk and notice a red light on a neighbor’s security camera red light, don’t be alarmed.

While it may indicate that the camera is recording or that its night vision function has been activated, allowing the camera to see in the dark, it could also indicate a variety of other things depending on the camera.

Furthermore, security cameras are helpful in discouraging crime and keeping homes, companies, and communities safe.

Knowing that your area is being watched over is comforting, even if you don’t have one. After all, we all want to live in a safe and secure neighborhood.